Carolina Blues: What’s next for the Panthers after being defeated in SuperBowl 50

After running through the regular season like they were playing high school junior varsity teams, the Carolina Panthers were embarrassed in the Big Game. Just because they didn’t walk off the field with any hardware, doesn’t mean their season was a failure. Football is a game of learning and growing. Cam Newton and company surely will have a sour taste in their mouth entering the 2016 season. They will be looking for revenge. So what can they do to ensure they don’t get embarrassed on the biggest stage of their life?

First things first, get healthy. After losing their best offensive weapon, Kelvin Benjamin, before the season even started, things looked bleak for the Panthers. But Cam rallied the troops and turned a group of journeyman receivers into some of the most feared deep threats in the league. With Benjamin coming back, you can expect Cam Newton to improve on his MVP season and increase his passing stats.

Next, and most importantly, keep the core of the roster intact. When teams make it to the Super Bowl, other teams tend to pick away at the talent and deplete the team’s depth. If Carolina can keep the core of their defense in place, namely Josh Norman and Charles Johnson, they should have no problems dominating the NFC once again.

Lastly, the if the Panthers want to remain relevant and have a chance to make it back to the Super Bowl, they need to add depth. Whether they want to improve through free agency or the draft, they have positional needs they need to fill. They need more talent on the outside and should look to improve their wide receiving core. They do not need a big name signing, as they are already bringing back one of the best young receiving talents. But they need a player that can take the pressure off of Kelvin. They also need to add depth and talent to the back field.

When the Panthers decided to cut ties with Deangelo Williams, they left Jonathan Stewart in place as their lead back. Although he had a relatively good season, his consistency and health are constant questions. The Panthers will look to add a young running back to back up Stewart in the event he is hurt or not playing well.

The Carolina Panthers are in great shape heading into the 2016 season. They are keeping the core of their franchise in place and are getting back key players that they lost throughout the season. Though the NFC is no joke, as of today, it doesn’t appear that any team has improved enough to compete with the most physical team in football.

–Michael Hersey